A Happy Monday to my Giant fans out there. We haven’t had many of these over the course of the last few years, so this one is extra sweet. For the first time in 15 years, I am waking up to a win on Monday that was Quarterbacked by someone other than Eli Manning.
Daniel Jones put this team on his back and led the team to victory. Gone are the days that we were hoping Eli would have enough help around him to push this team to victory. Gone are the days where we wouldn’t see our quarterback scramble 4 times in a year, let alone 4 times in a game. On Sunday, the NFL got a look at what Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur saw in Daniel Jones. Boy, was it a sight!
What you SHOULD see today is a bunch of crow-eating. I myself need to eat a bit of crow, as I thought the pick was brutal at #6 and it should have been Josh Allen who was picked(I would have been fine with it at #17). Turns out, the Giants Front Office might have gotten this one right, and there are rumors coming back around now that DJ wouldn’t have lasted until #17 (as expected when see a performance like Jones’ last night). You will still have others claiming that “It was only one game!”, and they would be right. However, would they have been saying that if Jones came out and had a brutal game? Probably not.
The best/worst part of DJ’s performance yesterday was that he did most of his damage without Saquon. Just saying that last sentence brought a tear to my eye. Barkley left the game early yesterday due to, what is now being reported as, a High-Ankle Sprain. The WORST. You have to assume that the injury will keep Barkley out until Week 7 against the Cardinals, at the very least. Reports are saying he will be out 4-8 weeks, but Saquon ain’t human like the rest of us.
Obviously there is zero chance Barkley plays this weekend. Next weekend would be rushing Barkley back to face a very good Minnesota defense. Then, the Giants play on a short week up in New England. None of which seems feasible for a Barkley return.
The fact that DJ was able to throw for 336 yards, while throwing for 2 TDs and running for 2 more without Barkley, is simply remarkable and just adds to his legendary first NFL game. Not many QB’s could say they had the type of start that DJ had, especially on the road without his #1 weapon.
Jones’ start yesterday provided hope to a fan base that was in desperate need of something positive after a tumultuous last few years. There is now hope that we have found our future answer at Quarterback. Having an answer at THE most important position on the football field is a great luxury that allows this team to focus on the many other holes. There is hope that when Barkley comes back, and Golden Tate returns from suspension, that this offense can be very good again. There is hope that this year is not a lost year, but a development year for #8. Oh, and our boy seems to have some moxy to him!
Shepard on Jones: “Wide receiver Russell Shepard said. “I ain’t never heard him scream. He started screaming and cussing. We were in the red zone and he was like, ‘Let’s f—ing score.’”
A Giant Quarterback cursing and yelling?! Getting the troops riled up?! We haven’t seen a Giant Quarterback pump a team up since the Simms Era.
It would also be remiss of me to not mention Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton in this review. All three players were outstanding as weapons for DJ all afternoon long. Each made several tough catches and were getting open to allow Jones the ability to make plays. Engram is showing out this season, and as I mentioned several times before, all this dude needs to do is stay healthy, and his play on the field will speak for itself. Right now, he is putting up Top 5 Tight End numbers. I was excited about Darius Slayton before the season started, but with injuries that sapped him of playing time over the summer, I figured it would be awhile before he contributed. Instead, he went out there in his first game and put up 3 big catches for 82 yards and had a great block that sprung Engram for his long TD catch and run.
Now, it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine. The defense continued to be a sore spot for this team. We all expected there to be bumps in the road for this young defense, but what we saw yesterday out of Janoris Jenkins was terrible. Jackrabbit was getting toasted left and right by Mike Evans to the tune of 8 catches, 190 yards (23.8 YPC), and 3 TDs. If not for a blown chip-shot field goal, Giant fans would be feeling like shit today solely because of Jenkins’ and the defenses play.
It took a whole half for Bettcher to adjust his scheme and start paying more attention to one of the NFL’s best receivers in Evans. It would have been one thing if Jenkins was getting outmuscled by the bigger receiver in Evans, but to get burnt down the field (especially on Evans’ last catch that went for 40+ yards with under a minute left and put the Bucs in FG position) as a veteran like that is scary bad. I was hoping that Jenkins could have played well enough to start the season to bring back a decent pick at the trade deadline, but at this point, it’s hard to see a team giving up anything more than a 5th Round pick for Jackrabbit. Ballentine and Love need to start getting reps soon, as they are the future.
It wasn’t all terrible for the defense though, as the young guns flashed. Dexter Lawrence and Oshane Ximines each picked up their first career sacks. DLaw was a monster all game long. Lorenzo Carter and Deandre Baker both had their best games of the season and showed some nice things. Ryan Connelly played well in replacement of Ogeltree, who looks like he will miss a couple games with an injury. Connelly got this defenses’ first turnover of the season when he intercepted Jameis Winston.
There are certainly things this defense can build on. Lord knows they still have a lot of work to do to become even an average defense. Looking at you Bettcher!
Overall, while it took another “Wide Right!” chip shot field goal miss to get the Giants their first victory of 2019, today is the best Monday us Giant fans have had in a VERY long time. The young talent on the New York Giants carried this team to a W. We saw what an offense that Pat Shurmur envisioned when he came to New York, and he finally had a Quarterback behind center that could carry out that vision. Yesterday was honestly the first time I could say that Shurmur’s offense was operating at it’s peak efficiency. Everything looked smooth and orchestrated.
With the Washington R-words coming up next at home, the Giants have a real shot at getting back to .500 and making a season out of this. 2019 Rookie Class stand up and take a bow! Y’all had your coming out party yesterday! Here’s to many more like that! (Beers cheers’ing emoji)
Mr. Glass-Half-Full’s Take:
I mean, as a Giant fan, if you aren’t on cloud-nine after that W yesterday, get ya pulse checked kid. I hate the “Danny Dimes” nickname, but my dude was truly throwing dimes ALL over the field yesterday. For a rookie’s first start on the road, against a good defense and great defensive coordinator in Todd Bowles, you literally could not have asked for better results.
The best part was, Jones was doing this all under heavy pressure. The offensive line did not have it’s best game and Nate Solder was brutal out there on Sunday. It wasn’t as if there was no adversity thrown DJ’s way. I’ve gone this whole article without mentioned the fact that the Giants were down 18 freakin’ points in the 2nd Half. All DJ did was have ice in his veins and calmly led his troops back into the game before punctuating the comeback victory with a game-winning touchdown run.
As I said, the defense still needs a ton of work, but it was great to see the young guys contributing. That has me thinking positively about the defenses ability to get better as the season wears on. Bettcher and Co. need to come out Sunday and have a good game against a below-average R-words offense. Who knows, maybe we see Dwayne Haskins vs Danny Jones next week? That would the media’s wet dream.
The Giants need to take care of business against this Skins team at home. After this week, the Vikings and Pats are next on the docket. Give the Giants fans some hope here and let’s build off of a huge win.
Go Big Blue.